Illumina - CODAworx


Client: CHI Health Center

Location: Omaha, NE, United States

Completion date: 2007

Artwork budget: $1,700,000

Project Team


Martina Galvin

Electric Time of Boston


Matthew Placzek

Placzek Studios


Leo A Daly

Leo A Daly


Anchored by a magnificent, illuminated 35-foot stainless steel clock, “Illumina” features six oversized bronze figures that vividly symbolize the arts and humanities events that take place at the convention center. Inside the lobby, an illuminated sculpture produces a state-of-the-art, energized light show in the evenings. Each year, hundreds of thousands of people interact with the sculpture’s carnival-like design. Featuring life-like, marvelously entertaining characters, “Illumina” has long been a beloved landmark for Omahans and visitors alike.


"ILLUMINA" is a massive project, beginning with a simple goal of creating an inspiring atmosphere with energy and excitement. Reminiscent of an era when performers, large-scale sculptures, and other forms of art were an active part of daily street life and local events, "ILLUMINA" embodies the spirit and pageantry of such public celebrations. At the center of the sculpture, is a functioning stainless steel clock. The hands of the clock, at 11 feet long and 200 pounds, encompass illuminated acrylic, and is calibrated with the atomic clock to keep time.


With more than 2,000 LED lights, 4,000 pounds of bronze, 28,000 pounds of stainless steel, and 360 tons of concrete, "ILLUMINA"'s size, diversity of elements, and complexity of design required a collaborative effort from many specialists across the nation. These specialists included engineers, steel fabricators, timepiece technicians, acrylic artisans, mold makers, and foundries. Working closely under the artist's supervise, they crafted Placzek's vision into its finished form; a tribute to this gathering place for conferences and entertainment.